Celano’s First Life of St. Francis

The earliest written account of Francis and the Leper occurs in Thomas of Celano’s The First Life (1C) written c.1229. The work was commissioned by Pope Gregory IX who asked Celano to write a vita of the newly canonized saint. Francis died in 1226, was declared a saint in rapid order and by April 1228, Gregory called for a burial church to be built for Francis. The commission to Celano was complementary to the architectural celebration. The vita was written in short order and declared official by Gregory in February 1229. Continue reading

Bartimaeus: another thought

This coming Sunday is the 30th Sunday in lectionary cycle B. The gospel is the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man, who cries out to Jesus for pity – or as pointed out in a recent post – for compassion or mercy. This is the last of the miracles recorded in the Gospel of Mark. It is a bookend to Mark 8 healing of the man born blind. It stands in contrast to the rich man who asks Jesus what he must do to inherit the kingdom. It stands in contrast to Peter and the disciples who are having their own problems. The commentaries of this week only began to plum the riches of this gospel. Here is an interesting bit of background come from Dan Clendenin at Journey with Jesus

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